The purpose of orthodontics extends far beyond making smiles look great and boosting patients’ self-esteem. Benefits of orthodontic treatment include:
Healthier teeth and a healthier bite
Better joint alignment
Fixing crooked and crowded teeth
Fighting tooth decay, tooth loss, and gum disease
Orthodontics can tackle issues like inefficient chewing function, abnormal wear of tooth surfaces, and too much strain on gums and bone. If left untreated, these problems can cause chronic headaches as well as face and neck pain.
While orthodontics may seem costly at first, the care required to treat dental problems that would not have arisen if orthodontics were used may end up being more expensive. Still, having a beautiful smile and better self-esteem is likely the biggest reward for many people.
Frequently Asked Questions
What age is the best age to start?
According to the American Association of Orthodontists, children should receive their first orthodontic evaluation no later than age 7, or at the first sign that there may be an orthodontic problem. During this time, while actual treatment may not be necessary yet, the evaluation will help your orthodontist anticipate future growth and start strategizing when the best time to start treatment is.
Why age 7?
Age 7 is considered the best time for an initial screening. At this age, a child’s first adult molars erupt and establish a back bite. Thus, orthodontists can investigate how teeth are positioned front-to-back and side-to-side. For example, newly erupted incisors can indicate possible overbite, openbite, crowding, or gummy smile problems.
What are some benefits of interceptive treatment?
Interceptive treatment can treat a wide range of problems. For example, it can:
Allow growth of new teeth by making room
Influence jaw growth, which can help create facial symmetry
Help protect front teeth from injury if they were originally protruding
Minimize the chance of needing to remove teeth
Reducing time spent wearing braces
Are braces right for you?
Braces are suitable for many people, so consult with your orthodontist. Orthodontic treatment isn’t just to improve the look of your smile; treatment can tackle malocclusions (bad bites) due to jaw misalignment. This has far-reaching consequences, affecting the way you smile, chew, clean your teeth, and even feel.
What problems can thumbsucking cause?
Thumbsucking is a very common habit for children. However, it can cause misaligned teeth and jaw problems if done excessively and too long. Here are a few possible complications:
Protruding upper front teeth and/or protruding upper jaw
Tipped-back lower front teeth
Open bite – it’s possible for the gap between top and bottom teeth to match the child’s thumb
Upper jaw grows too narrow for lower jaw, causing crossbite
Why are braces or orthodontic treatment important ?
There are many reasons that having braces can have a positive impact on your overall health and well-being. First, braces can make a huge difference to your self-confidence as they can alleviate any concerns that you have about your teeth and smile. Second, braces can reduce the likelihood of a number of diseases, such as tooth decay or gum disease and can even prevent heart disease from developing. Finally, treating any issues you have with your bite or the alignment of your teeth can greatly reduce the chance you’ll need to have more expensive or complex treatments like jaw surgery or a tooth extraction.
Do braces hurt?
Although you might be familiar with the metal braces many people associate with orthodontic treatment, you’ll be pleased to know that the technology behind braces has come a very long way. Newer braces are much more flexible and comfortable, with most patients describing their discomfort as mild to moderate. Over the counter options like Tylenol or Advil are effective medications for reducing any discomfort you might feel during your treatment.
How long will the braces be on for?
Your treatment is as unique as you are, so there’s no one size fits all length of time that you’ll wear your braces or undergo other forms of treatment. However average treatment times typically range between 6 to 24 months. Each case varies in complexity, but GD Orthodontics uses the very latest in orthodontic technology to ensure that your treatment is as precise and quick as possible. Patients who practice good oral hygiene can also expect to have a positive impact on their treatment. Keeping up good habits like regularly flossing and brushing your teeth can also help your treatment go faster, as can complying with recommendations like wearing your elastics.
Can I still eat my favourite foods?
Yes! There are very few foods that we recommend you avoid during your treatment due to the chance they can damage the wires or brackets. Any damage can extend your treatment times, so we’d encourage you to stay away from food like rock candy, caramel, and nuts. You can still enjoy many of your favourite foods, but your preparation for them might change. For example, you should cut hard vegetables into smaller pieces. And, always ensure that you’re brushing and flossing afterwards!
How does Invisalign® Work?
Invisalign® is a clear aligner orthodontic system that straightens your teeth with clear plastic trays instead of wires and brackets. You wear a series of aligners for 1 week each. Each successive aligner has a minor correction built in it and that’s how it progressively corrects your crooked teeth or your bite problems.
Does GD Orthodontics offer payment plans?
Definitely! We want to ensure that anyone who needs orthodontic treatment can access it; our office staff will work with you to find a payment plan that is the most convenient for you. We’re confident that there is a flexible, interest-free financing option that will ensure that you or your family members receive the orthodontic treatment that they require, without you having to worry about credit checks.
Does GD Ortho accept insurance plans?
Yes, we do! We will send the predetermination on your behalf and work with your insurance company to get you the maximum benefit.
Braces aren’t just for kids! In fact, the way your teeth, gums, and bone are structured can be changed at any age if you are healthy. Getting orthodontic treatment as an adult can vastly improve your self-esteem, allowing you to smile proudly during those job interviews and professional presentations. It can also boost your overall dental health: crooked teeth can lead to a bad bite, bone loss, tooth decay, unhealthy gums, and even headaches and jaw joint pain.
We now have new techniques and technology to treat teeth with minimal time and discomfort. You have plenty of options, from traditional metal braces to transparent aligners worn at night. It all depends on your personal circumstances, and during your initial consultation, we will assess your needs and find the best possible treatment route for you.
Adults actually make up a large percentage of our patients at GD Orthodontics. They will all agree that it’s never too late to drastically improve the look of your smile.
Types of Braces
Nowadays, you are not restricted to the “traditional” braces that often come to mind when you think of orthodontics. You have options such as:
1. Ceramic (clear) braces – these are more discreet than their metal counterparts. However, ceramic braces do require more attention when it comes to oral hygiene. Ceramic braces are often used on the upper teeth rather than the lower teeth.
2. Invisalign® - the Invisalign® System enjoys great popularity because of its ability to fix crooked teeth without being noticeable. These removable, clear aligners are created by computer simulation and gradually move your teeth into alignment. If you are interested in Invisalign®, ask your orthodontist if you are a suitable candidate!
3. Invisalign® Teen – this system is designed specifically to accommodate growing mouths and a busy teen lifestyle. They align teeth gradually just like the adult version, but come with extra features like the Blue Dot Wear Indicator to show how long the aligners have been worn, and six free replacement aligners.
4. Metal braces – these are what most people think of when they imagine “braces.” They are very strong and come in silver or gold. Most traditional, metal braces will require a ligature, or rubber band, to hold the arch wire and bracket together. While metal braces can be less expensive than other types, they may irritate gum and cheek tissue with their pointier bits. However, there are numerous first aid tricks to deal with this, such as saltwater rinses and using wax to cushion the metal brackets. Metal braces also come in a rainbow of colours, giving you room for personalization.
To learn more about your treatment options, book a consultation with us today!
Life With Braces
Getting braces will not turn your life upside down. The below mentioned points will give you basic information on how to adjust to your new orthodontic appliances and properly care for them. Always feel free to call our office at any time if you need more information.
Taking Good Care Of Your Braces
If you want to wear your braces for the shortest treatment time possible, you should take care of them. Taking care of your braces doesn’t just benefit your teeth; it will cut the cost down.
Here are some instructions to take care of your braces:
The most common chronic childhood disease in America is tooth decay?
It is estimated by the National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research that children miss 52 million hours of school per year due to oral health problems?
In the US, 50% of first-graders and 80% of 17 year-olds suffer from tooth decay?
Children’s oral health is a top priority of the US Surgeon General?
In general, orthodontic problems can be categorized as such:
Class II problems, sometimes called “overjet,” is when the upper jaw and teeth project past the lower jaw. Class II problems are often genetically inherited; however, they can result from excessive thumbsucking. To correct this problem, orthodontists will typically try to influence facial growth and bring the upper and lower jaws together to their correct position.
In Class III problems, the lower jaw may “stick out” and seem unusually large. However, it is often the upper jaw’s growth that is at fault. Class III problems are also often genetic.
Teeth are misaligned in crossbites. Posterior crossbites often consist of a narrow upper jaw and a wide lower jaw. When closed into a secure bite, the lower teeth are held outside the upper teeth. Crossbite may cause the appearance of facial asymmetry.
Crowding is a common reason to seek orthodontic treatment. For some patients, there is discrepancy between the size of their teeth and the space available in their jaw. Crowding may also be associated with gum problems. The added challenge of cleaning crowded teeth may also result in poorer oral hygiene and more risk of tooth decay.
Characteristics of deepbite include a large amount of exposed gum tissue, a protruded or entrapped lip, biting the roof of the mouth, and excessive wear on incisors. This is usually associated with length disparity between the upper and lower jaw.
Openbites are often caused by jaw disparities, habits like thumbsucking, or too much vertical jaw growth. Early intervention is critical to treating an openbite.
Spacing, like crowding, is a common reason for orthodontic treatment. Excessive spacing may be caused by gum tissue attachments called “frenae” or jaw and teeth size disparity.
Other than aesthetic issues, missing teeth can cause other health and dental problems such as chewing, bite, pain, speech problems, and muscle sagging. Having missing teeth can also mean more space for decay and gum disease, and how teeth arrange themselves in relation to the spaces may cause misalignment.
Emergencies & Minor Brace Repairs
If you’ve broken or loosened your appliances, please do not come directly to our office, but do call us immediately. This will allow us to make time to see you, and even if you have an appointment scheduled, please call us ahead of time if you require an appliance to be repaired.
Orthodontic emergencies are rare, but problems may occur occasionally. Usually, these can be fixed at home. Here are a few common problems and how to handle them on your own.
Loose Brackets or Bands
Loose brackets or bands can be left alone until your next visit, but do let us know so we can schedule extra time for repairs. If it’s irritating, you can cut the wire using sanitized nail clippers and slip off the bracket. Tuck the wire under and make sure to bring your bracket to your next appointment.
Wires can cause discomfort to your cheek and gums because they’re so pointy. You can usually move them away from the irritated area with a cotton swab, round end of a spoon, or eraser. You can also cover the pointy end with cotton or wax. If the wire is painful, clip it with sterilized scissors or nail clippers. If it continues to be bothersome, let us know.
This is actually quite common. Do not be too worried about losing your separator, but do call our office to see if you need a replacement.
Pain and Discomfort
It is common to feel pain, sore, and uncomfortable when you first begin your treatment. You may take acetaminophen or other non-aspirin pain relievers, and a warm wash cloth or heating pad may relieve jaw soreness.
When to Call the Office
If you have made any of the aforementioned adjustments, please do call our orthodontic office in Mississauga as soon as you can during regular office hours. We can then schedule a time for repairs.
Call even if you have an appointment scheduled in the near future, because repairs may take longer than your allotted time.
If you are unable to fix a problem on your own, please call. We are always happy to help!
If your mouth or teeth have suffered a direct injury, immediately place ice on the area and call your regular dentist. Afterwards, your orthodontist will replace broken or displaced appliances as soon as possible depending on your comfort.
Why Good Dental Health is Important
Did you know that:
Use small, soft-bristled toothbrushes to clean your children’s newly erupted teeth with a small amount of toothpaste
Teach kids how to brush as early as age 2 or 3 and supervise them until they can do it on their own
Visit the dentist regularly to check up on development and to screen for cavities
Try not to mention words like “pain” or “hurt” in the context of discussing visiting the dentist with your child
Encourage your child to discuss any fear they might have of going to the dentist
Determine whether your water supply is fluoridated or not; if not, ask your dentist about supplements
Talk to your dentist about using sealant to protect your child’s teeth’s chewing surfaces; this protects children against tooth decay
Instilling excellent oral hygiene habits goes a long way. You can start showing your child what good habits look like as early as infancy by gently cleaning your infant’s gums after feeding them with a water-soaked cloth. Here are a few other recommendations from the American Dental Hygiene Association:
Both sugar-free and regular gum
Foods to Avoid
Usually, common sense will tell you what foods to avoid. For example, hard foods can damage orthodontic devices. Sticky foods can be difficult to clean out of appliances, and sugary foods can cause tooth decay, not to mention they aren’t the healthiest choice for your body anyway!
You should also avoid habits like nail-biting and chewing on foreign objects.
Sticky foods to avoid include:
Corn on the cob
Apples, unless cut into small pieces
Hard foods that may damage orthodontic appliances include:
Dr. Girish Deshpande will instruct you to wear your retainers at all times
While you are eating, take your retainers out
When not wearing your retainer, always put it in its case
Remember to remove your retainer before brushing, and brush your retainer before placing it back in your mouth
If you are having trouble speaking while wearing your retainer, please allow yourself some time; it will get better with each passing day
Minimize your intake of sugary foods like cake, ice cream, and cookies, and try to consume sugary drinks only once a day. Not only will your teeth benefit from a reduced risk of decay; your entire body will thank you too!
When Dr. Girish Deshpande decides to remove your braces will be the beginning of the retention stage of your treatment. Your final orthodontic result depends on your retainers. Make sure to keep the below mentioned points in mind:
Please call our office if you think your retainer needs to be adjusted. Never do it yourself.
Always bring your retainers with you to your follow-up appointments
Always remember to remove your retainers before swimming
Do not use hot water to clean your retainers; alternatively, clean your retainer twice a day with cold water
Be careful with your retainers as they can break easily. Call our office if you accidentally break them.
For most children, their adult teeth all erupt by age 12, so gaps, crookedness, and bad bites are now easily detectable
When many of their peers are also wearing braces, children at this age may be less self-conscious about the appearance of braces and may even be motivated to wear them in order to fit in
Rapid growth spurts happen at this age, allowing orthodontists to take advantage of the body’s constant changes to shape bite and teeth
Because youth of this age have fast metabolisms, they can experience shorter treatment times
After your teeth have been moved by your orthodontic appliance, they must be retained in their new location. We must allow time for bone to regenerate and firm up around the teeth’s new location. Typically, this retention phase takes about nine months. This means, your retainers must be worn 23 hours a day consistently (you can take them out during meals).
If your retainers aren’t worn correctly, your teeth may shift back to their original position (relapse). We think you will agree when we say you have invested too much time, effort, and money for this to happen, and encourage you to wear your retainer diligently.
After nine months, we can start cutting back on retainer time. For example, you may start wearing your retainer only at night. How much we cut back wearing time depends on how successful the first phase of retention was, the severity of the initial problem, the appearance of wisdom teeth, and other factors like tongue thrusting, teeth grinding, and clenching.
At the end of this active retention phase, and after we have addressed any wisdom teeth issues, we still encourage patients to wear their retainers indefinitely, at least on a part-time basis. Our bodies change constantly throughout our lives, and teeth are no exception. While changes shouldn’t be too drastic, wearing your retainers every night is your best chance against relapse. If your retainer feels tight, it means your teeth have moved and you have gone too long without wearing your retainer. If your retainer continues fitting comfortably, this means your teeth are stable.
If, for any reason, wearing your retainer is impossible, call us for an appointment to discuss the matter immediately. Do not adjust or tamper with your retainer. Patient co-operation at this stage of treatment is very important.
Contact Us Today
If you have any questions about orthodontic treatment, contact Mississauga’s GD Orthodontics. You can also call us to book a free, initial consultation with us.